PYC Annual General Meeting

Datchet Water Sailing Club has many advantages.   It is easy to get to being convenient for the M4, M3 and M25.  It has good facilities and easy parking.   One of the pleasures of this AGM is the first floor Club Room which overlooks Queen Mary Reservoir to the west.   The sun setting over the water with Windsor Castle silhouetted on the horizon makes one happy to be in England.

It was a perfect venue for 50 Members and friends who gathered for this years AGM.  The main point of discussion was to brief the membership on Spellbinder Replacement.  Before that Debbie Roberts the Treasurer gave the financial report which had been pre-circulated.

Debbie said that the surplus after depreciation last year was £15,250 which is not enough to sustain the Club and replace the boats.  Sailing fee income was 12% below last year, cancellations cost us over £6,000 and there had been some unexpected maintenance expenditure during the past year, which is why the surplus is below expectations.  Looking forward Haslar Marina has changed ownership and, whilst we have benefitted from very low mooring rates for the last 4 years, the new owners are bringing the fees up to more typical market rates which will lead to a rise of £3,000 - £4,000 next year putting more pressure on the accounts.

Membership fees for 2017/18 are Individual £100; Family £180; and Youth (under 25) £50 each year.  These fees qualify for an SDS discount of £50.

Robert Homan, as retiring Rear Commodore Sailing, reported a successful 2016.  The summer cruise was well supported and made a good contribution to Club funds and was enjoyed by everyone.  Both boats are now working well. There had been a problem with the prop shafts in Quartette that has now been repaired and the heater from Quartette has been moved to Spellbinder and a new heater fitted to Quartette.  Spellbinder has been revarnished internally and now looks good and well presented for sale.  Spellbinder is now being actively marketed.  Robert thanked all members ofthe Sailing Committee especially the Bosuns Andy Bowerman (Spellbinder) and Richard Ash (Quartette) for their work during the year to keep the boats sailing.


Spellbinder Replacement

Dave Brookes, Trevor Nicholls, Debbie Roberts gave a comprehensive presentation. Dave Brookes went over why it is necessary to replace Spellbinder.  He said he appreciated that many members had a fondness for Spellbinder but she is now 26 years old, maintenance and the likelihood of failure is an increasing risk, she is becoming less competitive in races, and prospective members want a more modern boat. Trevor Nicholls discussed alternatives boats. This result followed a members survey and taking Spellbinder as the benchmark a spreadsheet model has been prepared against which any suggested boat can be measured. At present the two boats that come out best against these criteri are the X-40 and the Dehler 39 SQ.  Debbie went over the financial situation and the reasons why to replace Spellbinder we need to raise additional funds through the SDS scheme.  Fuller details of these presentations are being circulated separately.

The Spellbinder boat replacement group will be writing to you with more detail and you are encouraged to subscribe to the new boat.

During the lively discussion, Ron Clark gave a short and informative discussion on Adlard Coles book Loss of Boats at Sea.  Many boats of robust construction are lost at sea in often relatively light winds.  The angle of vanishing stability is important and in the 1979 Fastnet only one of 59 Group 5 boats finished and that was a Contessa 32.  The weak points are windows, hatch, washboards lost, cockpit drainage, locker fixings (wave over the stern). Fixings on the boat – well fitting lockers, gas bottle, fridge, tool boxes etc.  A frightened man and bucket are better than an electric bailer.  Rigging – galvanized better than stainless steel. A high cabin roof is vulnerable.  The superstructure is weaker than the hull.

He said that the general conclusion was that the length of the boat – 35 – 40 ft and 10 – 15 tons minimum as anything lighter may not be stable in bad weather.

The Spellbinder boat replacement group will be writing to you with more detail and you are encouraged to subscribe to the new boat.


Constitutional Review

The Resolutions that were circulated before the meeting with the agenda to tidy up the Articles of association and Club Rules were all passed unanimously.

The Management Committee is now :

  • Commodore:     Lenie Stephens Voorhorst
  • Vice Commodore:     David Brookes
  • Treasurer:     Debbie Roberts
  • Rear Commodore - Sailing:     Trevor Nicholls
  • Rear Commodore - Administration:   Robert Lewcock
  • Member:     Tinu Cornish
  • Member:     Richard Ash

After the main part of the meeting there was a general discussion. Steve Greenham is taking over from Andy Connors dealing with publicity and Mainsheet. He has produced a folded A4 card which members are encouraged to distribute to colleagues and the work place.

Tony Riley – Training and Skipper Officer said that the Club have 58 skippers inc Bristol Sailing Association. 23 Inshore, 14 coastal and 21 Offshore. Sadly there are 11 skippers who do not have a current First Aid Certificate and are not able to take boats out. He encouraged them to get their certificates updated which involves a one day course at a cost of about £50 - £80. Judith Hankey is taking over as Skipper/Training Officer for 2017.

We are entering all the RORC races this year as it is a Fastnet year.  Members are encouraged to any race tand should contact Chris Maughan if interested.

Judith Hankey has organized an exciting summer cruise of the coast of Holland.  Members are encouraged to sign up now for the summer cruise. 3 weeks are completely full and vacant spaces are filling fast.

Prize Giving:

Congratulations to the Prize winners:

  • Aiden Canon for Racing Trevor Nicholls
  • Fastest Passage Allan Wright.
  • Jubilee Plate Trevor Nicholls
    most days on Board (44 days) 
  • Laing Award for Seamanship Robert Lewcock for skills demonstrated during his Offshore Yachtmaster Exam when he sailed backwards onto a buoy when the prop shaft failed.
  • Contribution to the Club Andy Connor
    for producing Mainsheet over the last five years.

The meeting closed at 20.00 with a fork supper, fellowship over a drink.  A very good meeting enjoyed by all. - Robert Harland

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